Release date: 09.05.2016
Developer: Paradox Development Studios
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
The release of Stellaris was eagerly awaited and it ended up as Paradox’s most succesfull launch to date. That’s no surprise. The swedes at Paradox are well known for their historical strategy games with realistic AI nation responses. But can they bring that to the future in a sci-fi game?
The short answer is – yes they have done just that. Everyone who has played any game from Victoria or Europa Universalis series will know how detailed the diplomacy is. Stellaris is no different. You might have good relations with someone and then while you build your army to attack someone else they will turn against you just because they think that your army will attack them.
Of course the main idea here is to expand your empire over the whole galaxy. But that will not be easy. Since the largest map has 1000 star systems. Each system has several planets. Each planet may have even more satellites. To take control over an enemy planet you will have to invade it with troops. Not just destroy all enemy presence in the system. But don’t forget that the troop transports are weak and easy prey for the enemy which will attack them for sure. The warscore system from other Paradox games is also present here. So to annex a large empire you will have to wage several wars against it, because the warscore would be to great for one war. As for the enemies – you will have many of them. On the largest map (the one with 1000 stars) you can have up to 39 other empires. Each empire will develop at it’s own pace and pursue their own goals.
War aside the management of your colonies is also a challenge and the thing you do on the planet will have an impact on the relationship with other empires. For example, you have slave planet (you’ve conquered it and enslaved it’s population). An empire which is in favor of slavery will increase it’s opinion of you, while another might wage war just to free the slaves.
Everyone complains that in some RPG games you spend a lot of time to create your custom player. Well here you can spend hours upon hours to create your empire profile and it primary race. The options go from simple appearance to what the race likes and dislikes or what they do. All these choices are later visible in the game.